PM Imran Khan ‘stumbles’ while praising Punjab CM Buzdar

Says providing health cards to ‘22 crore’ people of province not easy: Grinds opposition leaders for going abroad for medical treatment: Launches health insurance facility for Islamabad residents

By: News Desk
Published: 02:16 PM, 26 Jan, 2022
PM Imran Khan ‘stumbles’ while praising Punjab CM Buzdar
Caption: TV grab.
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An interesting situation developed on Wednesday when Prime Minister Imran Khan said the provision of health cards to 22 crore people of the province was not an easy task, as if he was not aware that these population figures were of the entire country and not of Punjab, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Addressing the launching ceremony of health cards for Islamabad residents, the prime minister’s slip of tongue came as he praised Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar as the best chief minister the province has got so far.

Imran Khan also paid tributes to the team which made the introduction of these cards possible. “Perhaps, those who have worked on the project are themselves not aware of the utility of these cards for the ordinary people since now they will be able to get treatment not only at government hospitals, but also at private hospitals under Rs1 million,” the prime minister said, adding, “It is one of the most ambitious health programmes in the world today.”

PM Imran recalled the standards of government hospitals back in 50s and 60s when he was a child. “Sadly, later these standards fell so much so that the rich people could afford best treatment facilities, but not the poor since they could not pay for them,” he regretted.  He reminded that the country was created for a special purpose. “Here we had to develop the system on the pattern of state of Medina,” he said.

He again hit out at his political opponents, and said those going abroad for their treatment had no idea what pain a common man had to go through for his treatment back home in Pakistan. 

He said it was an irony that every member of the Sharif family dashed to London whenever he or she got sick. 

The prime minister again did not hesitate to proclaim Sardar Usman Buzdar as the most successful chief minister of the Punjab. 

The Naya Pakistan Qaumi Sehat Card is a phenomenal health insurance for the residents of Islamabad with facility of medical treatment up to one million rupees in a year. Under the scheme, all households of Islamabad, Punjab, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Tharparkar will be provided free medical treatment at government and private hospitals.

The prime minister at an event held in Islamabad distributed the health insurance cards to the beneficiaries, terming the facility an ambitious programme to facilitate across the board population.

During his speech, Imran Khan said universal health coverage was available in a few countries across the world, where the government fully covered the health expenses.

In Pakistan, he said, the launch of such a facility was a “landmark step” to accommodate the people bearing the burden of expensive medical treatment.

He said the philosophy behind the Qaumi Sehat Card was in line with the goals of a socio-welfare State. Also, national security is in fact linked with the welfare of people who are made stakeholders in the interest of State, he added. “This will prove as a defining moment in the improvement of healthcare services in Pakistan,” he said.

Imran Khan said the health card was a defining moment in encouraging private sector to join the medical network especially in rural areas and create an environment of competition for the public sector hospitals to improve their services.

He said R 450 billion would be spent on health insurance programme. He mentioned that the government was establishing five mother and child hospitals in view of the high mortality rate of neonatal and pregnancy complications.

The prime minister said the Rehmatul Lil Alameen Authority would also highlight the way of life of the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) who emphasized on empathy for poor and deserving.